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Apple Valley Pet
Wellness Services

Pet Wellness Services at Apple Valley Animal HospitalWellness Care for Every Age and Stage

At Apple Valley Animal Hospital, our veterinarians and staff are committed to working with you to provide the happiest, healthiest and longest life possible for your dog, cat, bird or exotic pet. Every pet is different, and care should be directed to the pet's lifestyle, breed and age. The doctors and staff at Apple Valley Animal Hospital will help tailor medical care for your pet according to their needs.

We recommend wellness examinations for the same reason that your physician recommends them: if a health problem or issue can be detected in its early stages, there is a far greater likelihood it can be resolved and treated with less difficulty, less expense and greater success. In addition, dogs and cats go through similar life stages as humans. Just as you would not expect the same care for a baby, adolescent, adult or senior, you should not expect the same care throughout your pet's life stages. You may have questions about behavior, nutrition or medical needs with each stage — yes, puppies and kittens go through their own "terrible twos" — and we are here to help you every step of the way.

Your Pet's Examinations at Apple Valley Animal Hospital

The veterinarians and medical team at Apple Valley Animal Hospital are committed to providing comprehensive and individualized medical care to your pet to enhance his or her well-being and quality of life. As medical professionals, we recognize that to provide your pet with a long, happy life as well as to limit the lifetime cost of care for your pet, our focus must be on preventive care.

The basis of such a plan is biannual wellness examinations so we can monitor your pet's overall health, screen for common diseases and ailments, and answer any questions you may have. This is especially important for senior animals 5 to 7 years of age or older. Examinations allow us to develop an overall picture of your pet's health and develop a baseline should your pet become ill between appointments.

During each wellness visit we perform a 12-system exam, including the mouth, teeth, ears, eyes and heart. The doctors also evaluate your pet's general condition, including his or her weight, respiratory system, joints, muscles and lymph nodes, and check for tumors, palpate the abdomen and examine the condition of the skin and coat. In addition to a complete physical exam, we may also recommend various laboratory tests such as a fecal exam for intestinal parasites and blood tests to screen for internal problems. These are necessary to test for common diseases that may not be evident on physical examination alone.

A comprehensive evaluation by one of the veterinarians at Apple Valley Animal Hospital provides you with all the information you need to make the best decisions about the care of your pet.

Pet Wellness Services at Apple Valley Animal HospitalVaccinating Your Pet Against Preventable Diseases

Vaccinations are the best way to protect your beloved pet from serious infectious diseases and bacteria. Many immunizations and preventive treatments are available that did not exist just a few years ago. At our animal hospital in Apple Valley, we always tailor your pet's vaccination schedule according to his or her needs. All decisions about vaccinations are made through consultation between you and the doctor. The staff at Apple Valley Animal Hospital can help you decide what preventive measures are necessary for your pet.

Vaccines can protect your pet and your family from disease. Some of the vaccines we recommend are:

  • Rabies: The first vaccine is given after 13 weeks of age. Pets will receive a booster one year after that and then every three years throughout their lives.
  • DHLPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus): Puppy series starting at 6 weeks old, then usually administered annually for adult dogs.
  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough): Recommended every six months and required annually for boarding pets or social pets that go to dog parks, grooming facilities, etc.
  • RCP (Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia) & Leukemia: Annually for cats.
  • Leptospirosis: A bacterial disease that can be transmitted to humans.
  • Lyme disease: On an as-needed basis for dogs.
  • Rattlesnake: On as-needed basis for dogs.

Puppy & Kitten Care

Congratulations on your new pet and thank you for choosing us to help protect and care for the new addition to your family! Bringing a new puppy or kitten into your home can be wonderful, but it can also be a lot of work. Apple Valley Animal Hospital offers special discount packages for puppies and kittens based on their age. Our veterinarians perform a full examination of your pet and discuss with you vital information including vaccine schedules, intestinal parasites, nutritional needs, house/litter box training, safety strategies, behavior counseling and more.

Schedule your puppy or kitten for their first exam as soon as possible. Until your pet has received a series of vaccines, they are susceptible to many serious but preventable diseases. The core vaccines offered at our veterinary hospital in Apple Valley are:

Puppy vaccines: DHLPP, Bordetella and Rabies
Kitten vaccines: RCP, Leukemia and Rabies

We will also test your puppy or kitten for intestinal parasites and make sure they are dewormed. Parasites can cause a potential threat to your family because they can be transmitted from pets to people. By ensuring your puppy or kitten is properly treated, you can keep your entire family safe.

We are always excited to see a new puppy or kitten. What an amazing experience awaits you! Be sure to take plenty of pictures early; they'll be full-grown before you know it!

Pet Wellness Services at Apple Valley Animal HospitalSenior Pet Care

Thanks to advances in veterinary health care, pets are living longer and healthier lives. Though ages vary when it comes to considering a pet a "senior citizen," a good rule of thumb is to consider large dogs at 5 years of age and small dogs and cats at 7 years of age to be senior pets.

Preventive health care is critical for senior pets. Like humans, older pets are at an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, endocrine disease, cancer and other diseases. Because not all pets exhibit visible symptoms, these diseases can often go undetected. Early detection of these diseases results in earlier treatment and better overall health for your pet and for this reason we recommend senior pets have twice yearly exams.

Your Senior Pet's Wellness Exam at Apple Valley Animal Hospital

While it may not seem that long ago that your faithful companion was a frisky kitten or playful puppy, your senior pet requires a different health and wellness plan than was necessary in their younger days. The veterinarians and staff at Apple Valley Animal Hospital understand the medical needs of senior pets — that's why we've developed a comprehensive senior pet wellness program.

During a Senior Wellness Exam, we listen to your pet's heart and lungs to detect signs of heart murmurs, abnormal heart beat patterns, infection, tumors and other diseases. Your pet's vision is evaluated, a glaucoma screening can be performed, and a Healthy Pet ultrasound will be offered. Hearing and blood pressure may also be tested. Senior wellness exams also include special laboratory tests, which examine your pet's thyroid, blood, stool and urine. For breeds at risk for developing heart disease, we may also perform an electrocardiogram.

The staff at Apple Valley Animal Hospital encourages you to take an active role in the care of your senior pet. A decline in energy, a decrease in vision and hearing, weight gain, dental disease and skin conditions are all signs of old age. Other signs to look for include:

  • Behavior changes
  • Slow movements, including slow rising
  • Limping
  • Change in water intake or in urination behavior
  • Trembling or shaking

There is also an important role for you to play as your pet's primary caregiver. While you cannot control age-related decline, you can influence your pet's activity level, living conditions, access to quality senior medical care and daily nutrition. With the help of our Apple Valley Animal Hospital veterinarians, you can manage these factors to prolong your pet's good health, vitality and increase his or her well-being, even as your pet's pace slows a bit. We all value the affection we share with our pets. Nothing helps that friendship more than working with your veterinarian to maintain your pet's health and quality of life.

Parasite Prevention

A vital aspect of preventive health care for your pet is to protect them against parasites. Heartworms, fleas, ticks and other internal and external parasites are much more than just pests; they can cause life-threatening conditions in your pet — and cause severe health problems for you and your family.

Fleas are most abundant during the warm weather and if left untreated they can be a nuisance year-round. Your pet can be allergic to fleas, and even just one bite can result in a severely painful skin infection. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms. Although ticks are less of a problem in our area, they can carry a variety of serious illnesses, including Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. If your pet is at risk for exposure to ticks, please talk to one of our veterinarians about the precautions you can take.

Heartworm disease is a serious, life-threatening disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It affects dogs and, to a lesser extent, cats. In the U.S., heartworm disease is most common along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts from the Gulf of Mexico to New Jersey and along the Mississippi River, but it has been reported in dogs in all 50 states. Clinical symptoms of heartworm disease develop very slowly. Early symptoms include lack of energy, exercise intolerance, coughing and difficulty breathing.

Fortunately, there are many safe and effective flea and tick control and heartworm preventive products available, and our veterinary team will help you choose the correct regimen based on your pet's risk factors and health status. We can also provide expert advice on keeping your whole household safe from parasitic infection. For more information, please set up an appointment with us to discuss parasite prevention. Protect your pet and your family today!

Pet Wellness Services at Apple Valley Animal HospitalAvian & Exotic Pet Care

A normal day at Apple Valley Animal Hospital may mean seeing birds, tortoises, lizards, mice, rats, iguanas, chinchillas, snakes, guinea pigs and even chickens and turkeys come through our door. Dr. Jessen and our staff members are experienced in providing specialized care and treatment for birds and many exotic companion animals. We understand their unique health needs and can provide diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical services, as well as counseling on nutrition, behavior and general care.

Since it is often difficult to determine if an exotic pet is ill, we strongly recommend physical examinations twice a year to check for health problems and annual monitoring to check for nutritional and husbandry-related conditions.

To survive attacks from their predators, exotic animals normally conceal their illnesses in the wild. As a result, their medical problems often go unnoticed for long periods of time. By the time you recognize there is a problem with your exotic pet, the condition is often extremely serious. With biannual medical examinations by a veterinarian at Apple Valley Animal Hospital, problems are often diagnosed before they become serious medical conditions.

After acquiring your new exotic pet, a complete wellness appointment is strongly recommended. This exam includes a thorough physical examination, and husbandry and nutritional consultation. Disease screening and laboratory testing is also available. Before bringing your pet into your home, it is essential to ensure he or she is healthy.

Should your bird or exotic pet need intensive care or hospitalization, there's no greater relief than being certain your veterinary hospital is specifically equipped to care for your beloved companion. Apple Valley Animal Hospital has the technology, skill and experience necessary to treat your exotic pet.

If you would like more information about the veterinary services Apple Valley Animal Hospital offers for your pet or to schedule an appointment at our animal hospital in Apple Valley, please call us at (760) 490-0635.

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